The Quantity and Quality of Waresby Nicholas Barbon
The Quantity of all Wares are known by Weight or Measure.
The cause of Gravity is not understood.
Does it come from the Elastisity of Air? Or the weight of the utmost Sphere or from other Causes?
Regardless, the ways of trying the Weights of Bodies are perfectly discovered by the balance.
There are 2 Sorts of Weights in Common Use:::
- The Troy
- This is used to Weigh Goods of most Value, such as Gold, Silver and Silk, etc.
- The Averdupois
- This is used for Coarser, and more Bulky Goods, as Lead, Iron, etc.
There are 2 Sorts of Measures:
- One for Fluid Bodies
- Bushel for Measuring Corn
- Gallon and Quart for Wine and Oil
- One for Measuring the Dimensions of Solid Bodies
- Yard, Ell, etc. to Measure Cloth, Silk, etc.
The Weights and Measures of all Countries differs, but that is no Prejudice to Trade; they are all made certain by the Custom or Laws of the Place,and the Trader knows the Weight or Measure in Use, in the Place he Deals to.
It is the Care of the government, to prevent and punish the Fraud of False Weights and Measures, and in most Trading- Cities, there are Publick Weigh-Houses, and Measures: The Fraud of the Ballance, which is from the unequal Length of the end of the Beam, is least perceivable; and therefore in Weighing Goods of Value, they usually Weigh them in both Scales.
The Qualities of Wares are known by their Colour, sound, Smell, Taste, Make, or Shape.
The Difference in the Qualities of Wares are very difficultly distinguished; those Organs that are the proper Judges of those Differencies, do very much disagree; some Men have clearer Eyes, some more distinguishing Ears, and other nicer Noses and Tastes; and every Man ahving a good Opinion of his own Faculties, it is hard to find a Judge to determine which is best:
Besides, those Qualites that belong to Artificial Wares,such as depend upon the Mixture, Make or Shape of them, are more difficultly discover’d: Those Wares, whose Quality are produced by the just Mixture of different Bodies, such as Knives and Razors, whose sharpness arise from the Good Temperament and Mixture of the Steel & Iron, are not to be found out, but by the Use of them: And so doth the Mixture, and well making of Hats, Cloth, and many other things.
Because the Difference in the Qualities of Wares, ae so difficultly understood, it is that the Trader serves an Apprendiceship to learn them; and the Knowledge of them is called the Mystery of Trade;
In common Dealing, the Buyer is forced to rely on the Skill and Honesty of the Seller, to deliver Wares with such Qualities as he affirms them to have: It is the Sellers Interest, from the Expectation of further Dealing, not to deceive; because his Shop, the Place of Dealing, is known: Therefore, those Persons that buy of Pedlars, and Wandering People, run Great Hazard of being Cheated.
Those Wares, whose Chief Qualities consist in Shape, such as all Wearing Apparel, do not so much depend uon the Honesty of the Seller; for tho’ the Trader or Maker, is the Inventor of the Shape, yet it is the Fancy and Approbation of the Buyer, that brings it into Use, and makes it pass for a Fashion.